By Nkasi Kolie
No fewer than 11 persons were killed in two separate attacks in three communities of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, on Sunday night.
It was gathered that while nine persons were killed in a communal clash between Aila and Adagbo communities, two other persons were allegedly killed by suspected herdsmen in Odugbeho Community.
Aila and Adagbo communities had been at daggers drawn for many years now with the state government and some other prominent personalities in Benue mediating at some point.
One of our local sources from Agatu, Adamu, said many other persons were also injured in the latest clash between the two communities.
“We don’t know the cause of this latest attack, but all we can see is that before anyone can even say anything, nine people have been killed on both sides. Aila and Adagbo people have been clashing for some years now,” Adamu said.
It was also gathered that the same night which was exactly one week after an attack on Odugbeho, some gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, again, stormed the same community and started shooting sporadically killing two persons and burning down 21 houses.
However, a military source, who did not want to be named, insisted that the latest attack on Odugbeho was carried out by some local criminals.
The attackers were said to have attacked Odugbeho around 5pm, on Sunday, in a Guerilla manner and shot in all directions, while also setting many houses afire.
A source from the community, who pleaded anonymity told SECURITY REPORTERS.com that the people had prior knowledge about the attack and alerted security agencies as well as got the youths ready for defence.
“And true to the information we got, the invaders stormed our community at about 5pm and started shooting, while also burning houses. Our boys tried to repel them, but had to beat a retreat due to the superior fire power of the invaders who also outnumbered our boys.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the local government, Sule Adohi, has confirmed the attacks, saying nine people were killed in the Aila/Adagbo communal clash, while two other persons were killed and 21 houses burnt in the herdsmen invasion of Odugbeho.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to be briefed about any attack on Agatu communities at the time of this report